In part 1, we grabbed a trick from Mary Poppins’s carpet bag to help us ditch our writer’s block. Ready to give another ONE a go?
Here are 5 more to choose from…
6. Feed a spoonful of sugar to your fear of rejection
Does sending your penned hatchling into the world cause your chest to tighten?
Me, too! I close my eyes and hold my breath, as I hit the button that exposes Write 50 posts to content hungry internet trolls.
Yet, most feedback is good medicine.
Yep, editors’ notes, a rejected idea, or no response taste terrible. But, feedback doesn’t have to taste like castor oil or battery acid.
In fact, Mary’s carpet bag is full of medicine that tastes like strawberries, lime cordial, or…
Rum punch [hiccup]. Excuse me. Anyway…
- Sweeten the taste of a rejected idea by asking the editor what they’re looking for or how you can improve. (Pssst. Guess what? Editors are human, too.)
- Mask worry with a liter of Malbec… OR…repeat after me, “No response doesn’t mean I suck.”
- Keep in mind content managers are busy. Maybe your idea isn’t right for the publication or the timing’s off.
In the end, writing taste is subjective. Do you like every writing style?
Then it’s okay that your style doesn’t resonate with everyone.
7. lift the weight of a project with a tea party on the ceiling
Does your writing got you down in the mouth? Is it feeling more like work than fun?
Grab this move from uncle Albert’s playbook. When he’s down in the dumps he lifts his spirits with humor. Since he’s Mary’s uncle, his jovial mood levitates him to the ceiling – only on special occasions.
Now, Mary’s a nose-to-grindstone kinda gal. But she’ll join her uncle’s tea party on the ceiling. In her words, “if we must, we must.”
We don’t have to wait for a special occasion to lighten the load of our projects. We’ll do it with a prize and a joke.
First the prize…
Reward yourself for hitting a mini-milestone. You could brainstorm, write, or revise for 20 minutes. Then celebrate with… a chapter by your favorite author…a funny Youtube video…a quick game on your phone…a stroll around the block… or whatever helps you decompress.
Attention fellow procrastinators: This one will test our will power. When the “just one more” temptation pops in your head, run! To another round of this challenge.
Now for the joke…
I got this one from uncle Albert during a recent tea party on the ceiling…
“The other day when it was so cold, a friend of mine went to buy some long underwear. The shopkeeper said to him, ‘how long do you want it?’ And my friend said, ‘Well, from about September to March.”
8. Defy authority and feed the birds
Are you sick of trying to follow all the rules? Real or assumed?
You know, like planting your butt in the chair from 9 to 5 because you’re lazy if you don’t. Or following grammar rules, such as never start a sentence with a conjunction or end one with a preposition.
The snow globe at the bottom of Mary’s carpet bag can inspire you to break these rules. When Mary’s charges, Jane and Michael Banks, stared into it, they saw a bird woman asking for tuppence to feed the pigeons at St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Ultimately Mary used the globe to teach them to be charitable. But to reach that point, they had to run from their father’s rigid money rule.
Stare into the globe long enough and you’ll see a writer who paved their own way. How? You could…
- Break a grammar rule in your blog post or short story.
- Schedule 3 or 4 short writing sessions rather than one 8 to 10-hour death march.
- Shake up your writing time by writing at lunch or before bed.
- Invest a bit of your hard earned tuppence into a writing resource.
On the days I work from my couch-side office, I make my own hours. Sure I sometimes show up at the climbing gym for a noon session. But I’ve likely thrown several hours at a writing project beforehand. And I’m often tweaking or testing Write 50 games long after traditional biz hours end.
One last tip. Defy the negative messages that litter your head. Reframe chatter like “My writing’s no good,” with something like “I write every day to improve.”
9. Borrow from the Chimney Sweeps’ playbook
Low energy can infiltrate your copy. The fix?
Make like a chimney sweep and step in time. These guys re-energize to sweep away soot and grime, by dancing across rooftops between gigs.
Be careful. If you fly up your chimney, Bert and Mary won’t be there to keep you safe.
You can still get moving between writing sessions by going for a walk or run. Is yoga or weight training more your speed? Perfect.
Since rock climbing fixes everything coffee and an anvil dropped on the head can’t, I haul my butt up the wall at my local climbing gym, between writing sessions.
What activity energizes you? The endorphins from gardening, swimming, a pickup game of hoops will show up in your copy.
Need a quick jolt? Stand up and follow the chimney sweeps’ lead:
“Kick your knees up, step in time.
Kick your knees up, step in time.
Never need a reason,
Never need a rhyme
Kick your knees up, step in time!”
10. Grab a mate and fly a kite
If we had Mary by our side, she’d only stick around until the wind changes. Her goal? To have her charges thrive on their own, with support from an inner circle.
Who can you connect with for support? Who can talk you off the ledge when you’re convinced you suck?
Who can be your voice of reason?
Sure you can meet them at the park and fly a kite, while you hash out your blocks. If you don’t own a kite, how about getting together at a coffee shop? Or via phone or Skype?
I meet with my accountability partner, Laurel, over the phone once a week. I’m a writer, not a mathematician, so can’t add up the number of ledges she’s talked me down from. Without Laurel as my voice of reason, Write 50 would be nothing more than a splat at the base of my apartment building.
While you’re lining up your kite-flying partner, why not team up with a resource? Resources like a blog, course, or game can unlock blocks.
We can all thrive with each others support. I double-dog dare you to use the comments section below to connect with fellow Write 50 crew members.
We may not have access to Mary Poppins, but we can ditch our blocks by channeling a bit of her magic…
- Size up your block.
- Run with ONE trick from Mary’s carpet bag.
- Let the magic flow from your head onto the page.
On that note…
“Chim chim-in-ey, chim chim-iney
Chim chim cher-oo!
Good luck will rub off when I shakes ‘ands with you.” ~Bert, Mary Poppins
An online outing to Pixabay, a gallery of block-ditching royalty-free images
A playbook and game that challenges you to self-coach yourself through your writing blocks.